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KSP Computer Building/Buying Megathread


Leonov
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The CPU should be a fun chip and the PSU seems to of decent quality. Good budget choices there. The R7 240 seems rather underpowered though, I really hope that will not be a letdown.

KSP performance prediction?

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KSP performance prediction?

Should be pretty decent because KSP doesn't need a good GPU, but the GPU does leave something to be desired. See this review:

(Slightly out of date, but the point is still the same. Saving up for a while for something like a R7 260x would've been a much better option.)

Edited by Weegee
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http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/42877-CPU-Performance-Database

The Pentium G3258 seems to underperform compared to the i7's and i5's despite matching it for clock. Perhaps the Pentium has less cache or something, or perhaps even though KSP only heavily loads one core it still helps to have four rather than two.

In the wider spectrum of things though it's doing well. I expect yours despite the lower clock speed will beat out more expensive AMD processors as well as most pre-Sandy Bridge Intels. Keep in mind those tests start with a 600-part rocket after all.

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http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/42877-CPU-Performance-Database

The Pentium G3258 seems to underperform compared to the i7's and i5's despite matching it for clock. Perhaps the Pentium has less cache or something, or perhaps even though KSP only heavily loads one core it still helps to have four rather than two.

In the wider spectrum of things though it's doing well. I expect yours despite the lower clock speed will beat out more expensive AMD processors as well as most pre-Sandy Bridge Intels. Keep in mind those tests start with a 600-part rocket after all.

Smaller cache plus it has some instruction sets disabled compared to the i5s and i7s. Still a tremendous value for single thread performance.

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Should be pretty decent because KSP doesn't need a good GPU, but the GPU does leave something to be desired. See this review:

(Slightly out of date, but the point is still the same. Saving up for a while for something like a R7 260x would've been a much better option.)

The thing about that review is all of the benchmarks were on Ultra High or high. I play at medium or low and I don't mind the quality, on my laptop its 10-20 fps. If it gets me 60-120 fps on low-medium, I would be more than happy. Plus, I don't play that demanding of games. Source games, and KSP.

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The thing about that review is all of the benchmarks were on Ultra High or high. I play at medium or low and I don't mind the quality, on my laptop its 10-20 fps. If it gets me 60-120 fps on low-medium, I would be more than happy. Plus, I don't play that demanding of games. Source games, and KSP.

What I like least about the card is that bang-for-buck is not great. If you invest slightly more, you get a lot more. In contrast, the Pentium provides great value for money. Sure, an i5 or i7 will be quicker, but those are a different class of chips and will cost an equivalent amount of money.

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What I like least about the card is that bang-for-buck is not great. If you invest slightly more, you get a lot more. In contrast, the Pentium provides great value for money. Sure, an i5 or i7 will be quicker, but those are a different class of chips and will cost an equivalent amount of money.

Agree 100%. The problem with that card is it might be enough for you now, but if you need more performance (which will happen), you'll have to spend more money than getting a better card in the first place. Plus, if you only play games on mid-low, you're missing out, especially since you could have bought a better card for not much more money. But hey, if you're fine with it I guess that's all the really matters.

As for anti-static, just search "anti-static bracelet" or "anti-static wristband". All of them should be about the same. What you do is strap them to a wrist or ankle, and then you attach the clip to a ground, which prevents static buildup.

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Really quick question-

Anti Static Protection. What should I use?

When I built my PC the first thing I did was plug in the PSU without the switch on so its grounded and then touched it to ground myself. If your case is metal it will be grounded as well once you put in your PSU. I recommend grounding yourself once before and work on a floor that isn't carpet. Also ESD is not much of a bad issue now a days and ESD wrist-bands are mainly useful for people who work with electronics regularly.

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Really quick question-

Anti Static Protection. What should I use?

Discharge yourself by touching something grounded on a regular basis (but make sure not to touch any live pins or wires!), wear cotton to prevent charge build-up as much as possible, and do not work on carpet or other highly charging surfaces. Also do your work in a concise and efficient manner. The more you fiddle with parts, the more opportunity arises to break things. That should mitigate most of the trouble.

A bracelet is not a bad idea either, but it is only really effective when combined with the other factors.

Also ESD is not much of a bad issue now a days and ESD wrist-bands are mainly useful for people who work with electronics regularly.

ESD is only becoming more of a problem due to the increased chip complexity and ever smaller chip making processes. Generally, the more advanced the electronics, the more vulnerably it will be.

Though chances of problems are not huge, they are very real. Better safe than sorry, it is so sad when you kill your expensive gear. An even bigger problem is that when you do not completely break it, the electronics will suffer from weird and intermittent problems. It can be a huge time and money sink before you figure that one out, if ever.

Edited by Camacha
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Yeah, having developed the habit of regularly grounding myself - one hand on the backplane/chassis :P I've never zapped anything. Your work environment also makes a big contribution to the ESD risk, nylon carpet, relative humidity etc.

Handling cards by the edges / brackets is a good idea too. And don't put your new mobo down on the carpet without at least some conductive plastic under it ;)

Edited by steve_v
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Handling cards by the edges / brackets is a good idea too. And don't put your new mobo down on the carpet without at least some conductive plastic under it ;)

For the love of Jeb, do not put it on carpet at all. Wooden tables are probably best in a house environment, but almost anything is better than carpet.

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I wasn't totally serious on that one TBH. ;) But I have been known to do it to hardware I didn't care much about... or was actively trying to kill. Without success I might add.

The layer of metallic grinding dust and drill swarf on my "carpet" (or what was once carpet) probably contributed to the survival rate too. :D

Edited by steve_v
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Ok, I lied. Two more questions.

Is Newegg.com reputable?

When comparing the i5 4460 and my current processor (AMD Athlon II 645), the i5 is only 0.1 GHz faster. Both of them also have four cores, and yet it (The i5) gets a significantly better score (here and on Passmark). What causes this, and would there actually be a significant performance increase with the i5?

Edit: Also, would getting the i5-4670 be worth the extra ~30$?

Edited by TechnicalK3rbal
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For the love of Jeb, do not put it on carpet at all. Wooden tables are probably best in a house environment, but almost anything is better than carpet.

WOO

also, bought a ESD bracelet at best buy for 4.99+5.00 2-day shipping to get it in the store

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When comparing the i5 4460 and my current processor (AMD Athlon II 645), the i5 is only 0.1 GHz faster. Both of them also have four cores, and yet it (The i5) gets a significantly better score (here and on Passmark). What causes this, and would there actually be a significant performance increase with the i5?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instructions_per_cycle

It's basically about the details of the processor's design that mean some processors do more, per core per megahertz, than others. Even though clock speeds dropped back after the end of the Pentium 4 and have only increased slowly since then, improvements in IPC have meant modern processors are much faster than old equally-clocked ones.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instructions_per_cycle

It's basically about the details of the processor's design that mean some processors do more, per core per megahertz, than others. Even though clock speeds dropped back after the end of the Pentium 4 and have only increased slowly since then, improvements in IPC have meant modern processors are much faster than old equally-clocked ones.

Ok. So it would, then, be a large increase over the Athlon?

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When comparing the i5 4460 and my current processor (AMD Athlon II 645), the i5 is only 0.1 GHz faster. Both of them also have four cores, and yet it (The i5) gets a significantly better score (here and on Passmark). What causes this, and would there actually be a significant performance increase with the i5?

It is a completely different architecture. A classic mistake is that people think that a GHz is a GHz, but in reality it is a useless metric. Differences in architecture will always mean a different outcome. The only chips that can be somewhat compared are chips of the same brand, with the same architecture, with the same features and preferably of the same revision and batch. This means that comparing chips of different generations based on clockspeed, or even chips from different brands, it a futile exercise.

Nowadays people often look at IPC, but this is not a golden metric either. It suffers pretty much from the same problems and limitations as clockspeed based comparisons do. Different chips will perform differently in different situations. I repeat it again and again and again: real life benchmarks are the only reliable way of comparing a chip's performance to that of another.

Please note that there are a lot of websites out there that compare CPUs or GPUs based on specifications or artificial benchmarks. Comparing specifications is useless, and artificial benchmarks (PassMark, Heaven et cetera) are less than ideal, so beware of the results that will be at the top of your Google search. More often than not you need to take those with a grain of salt and interpret them.

So, once more: pick a game or application that you want to use the chip for (or the closest thing you can find), find reviews that have actually measured performance between one chip and another and compare the results. That is the only proper way of comparing chips performance. And yes, that takes some work ;)

Edit: Also, would getting the i5-4670 be worth the extra ~30$?

In itself it is a deal that is neither good nor bad. You pay a little more, you get a little more. If you can spare the money, sure, go ahead, KSP will like you for it. However, you might want to consider upgrading to a K-chip. This opens up overclocking and a lot more gain.

Of course, the motherboard also needs to be up to par for that and you might need to look at your cooling, so it is up to you whether you want to deal with that. Upside is that overclocking has never been easier. If you can follow simple instructions, you can overclock.

WOO

also, bought a ESD bracelet at best buy for 4.99+5.00 2-day shipping to get it in the store

That is great, if you use it properly you should not need to worry about your hardware :)

Tests in KSP show that yes, the recent Core i5's are much better than the old Athlon IIs and Phenom IIs when it comes to handling the big part count ships.

Most notably it is the great single threaded speed of the Intel i-series that make them suitable for KSP :)

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Are there any significant downsides to overclocking? My brief Google-ing only uncovered increased heat and power consumption.

That is pretty much it, as long as you can follow instructions. If you completely mess up you might have to deal with a reduced life span, but chips nowadays are pretty protected against shenanigans and even some reduction in life span will still mean you can use a chip well beyond its economic life span. You really have to be intentionally messing things up or charging blindly into something you do not know to make that an actual problem.

Keep the voltage at an acceptable level (or do not even touch it at all if you seriously doubt yourself) and do not let things get too hot for long periods of time and chances of problem are very slim to non-existent.

Edited by Camacha
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For Intels, only the -k ones can be OCd, right?

Others can be overclocked, but only a very minor amount. The anniversary Pentium G3258 is a notable exception and also can be overclocked to its fullest potential, making it a very interesting budget proposition. In pretty much all other cases you need K chips.

Edit: And what other gain is there from using a K?

Not much. They are likely cherry picked chips, meaning they are the pick of the litter, but no guarantees there. Resale value also seems a little better. Sometimes certain features are slightly different, like those that are beneficial for server purposes, but I am not sure those vary much between K and non K.

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